Expectation VS. Reality: Carabao Island (Maragondon, Cavite) When Summer’s Over

The first time I heard about Carabao Island, the one located in Maragondon, Cavite, was when it was featured in a news and lifestyle magazine TV program (Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho), summer of this year. I was actually amazed by these hidden beauties that can also be found in our Province. Who would have thought that white sand beaches, cliff diving and haven islands can be experienced somewhere in Cavite. That made me feel so proud (I should be; I’m a legit Cavitenya). I mean, make way Palawan, Bicol and other provinces down and up the Philippine map, Cavite has something better to offer. 😛

But since I’m not into island hopping, I never really made a concrete plan to go there. Until, my brother, eagerly pushed us to make a schedule and itinerary for a day tour in Carabao Island. So, we did. But sadly, he couldn’t go with us because of his work. 😦

Okaaaay, enough with the background story. 😛

We left Rosario, Cavite around 4:00AM and headed our way to Kaybiang Tunnel to pick-

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Photo credit: Maynhard Crizaldo (Kaybiang Tunnel @5:20AM)

up the mother of our contact person that will lead the way for us from there to reach the port/shore going to Carabao Island.

Comment down or message me to get the contact number of our guide. I highly recommend you our guide. HIGHLY. 😀

Around 5:40AM, we were ready to board the boat.

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Photo by: Mel Asarez

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Photo by: Mel Asarez

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Photo by: Mel Asarez

The boats of the locals can only accommodate 7 backpackers each. Boat rentals ranges from P1500 to P2000. In our case, our contact gave us a discount and allowed us to rent their boat for P1500. We were a total of 8 pax, including a 5-year old child, so maybe that was why we were still considered as 7.

The boat ride lasted for almost an hour. And the views/scenery were so breathtaking and worth risking for (risking for your gadgets to get wet) 😛 I was amazed by the 3 most beautiful places/scenery in one sight. In. One. Sight. (Sea, Mountain, Sky)

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We scheduled our tour just days after Typhoon Pablo, so the waves were still dancing a bit wild and splashes of water were all around us, including on our backpacks. So, it is very important to bring a waterproof bag or pouch for your gadgets. I’m very thankful to God that though my backpack was wet, the water didn’t enter and so, my DSLR was safe. Actually, I was really praying hard for it. 😀 But I suggest, secure your equipment/gadgets if you’re planning to go on this trip. 😛

And then, we were approaching Carabao island:

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Photo by: Jham Cadelina (Carabao Island)

Yes, the above photo is the historical Carabao Island. Historical because this place served as a “kuta” of the army (I just don’t know whether Philippine Army or the enemy’s army) here in Cavite. Well, if you want clarifications regarding its historical background, Google is just a type away. 😛

But that wasn’t the island our boat docked at. Because obviously, you cannot dock the boat there. It has no shore. Plus the waves during this season might wreck the boat on its rocky supposedly “docking area”. You have to swim in order to reach that island. And we cannot do that. Some of us don’t have that kind of skills yet and our backpacks aren’t waterproof. So, our guide decided to tour us around the parameter of Carabao Island instead (video footage/clip of a close-up look around Carabao Island can be seen here: Carabao Island Closer Look), and brought us to a nearer amazing island. Yes, the one featured on the TV show I’ve mentioned above.

Our contact person made us sure that the island we’ll be staying at is like a paradise and has white sand. She mentioned that there will be no cottages, so I was quite ready and visualizing the place in my mind. The perfect picture I saw in my mind was a ‘Survivor-like-island’. It turned out I was right.

It turned I was right but with a twist. 😛

We were so disappointed. DISAPPOINTED to the highest level! We were actually planning to stay in the island until 5:00PM but then upon arriving the island we suddenly told the boat man to pick us up at 2:00PM instead.

This was not what I saw on the TV Program. Those yellow things floating on the sea were not included when I visualized the island in my mind.

But as the old saying goes “fist impression never last”, we found ways how to see the island beyond its imperfection, and get along with its natural wonders.

White Sand is for real. 😀

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Cliff Diving, “JUMPING” rather, is possible too. 😀

 

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Photo by: Gelo Sto. Domingo

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Photo by: Maynhard Crizaldo

 

And we found spots where we can still swim and enjoy the blue or green ocean without those floating yellow things. 😀

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Photo by: Maynhard Crizaldo

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Photo by: Maynhard Crizaldo

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Photo by: Maynhard Crizaldo

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Photo by: Maynhard Crizaldo

The waves look calm on the pictures but really they weren’t. Life vest is a must-wear because the waves might bring you somewhere far. And wear slippers/sandals when swimming; you will not be stepping on the sand down there. 😀 But if you’re a masochist, you are free not to heed my advice. 😛

I can say, that for a day we have owned an entire island. So yes, it was a survivor-like-island experience. 😛 Aside from the things we brought, we were left with nothing. 😛

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Photo by: Maynhard Crizaldo

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Photo by: Angiemel Asarez

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Photo by: Maynhard Crizaldo

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Photo by: Maynhard Crizaldo

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Photo by: Angiemel Asarez

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Photo by: Angiemel Asarez

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Photo by: Angiemel Asarez

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Photo by: Mel Asarez

 

And what would you do if you own an entire island for a day (aside from swimming)? 😀

Food Trip it is!

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Photo by: Angiemel Asarez

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Camp building!

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Photo by: Angiemel Asarez

 

Sand Castle Making 😛

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Rock Tower Making! 😛

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Photo by: Angiemel Asarez

 

Or just plain relax 😀

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And if everything else fails, go to sleep. 😛

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Photo by: Angiemel Asarez

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We were picked up by the boat we rented around 2:30PM and brought us to another island. We were not expecting this one. Angel, our contact person, told us that this island is for those who want to stay overnight. This time, cottages and toilets and stores are available in the place. It is also residential.

The beauty of the views going to that island were much visible. Maybe because it was nearing the golden hour. So, the color and contrast compliment each other. 😀

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Photo by: jham Cadelina

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Photo by: jham Cadelina

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Photo by: jham Cadelina

Here in our second island, we enjoyed swimming by the shore without slippers/sandals and life vest. 😀 We savored and rode on the waves this time, which we couldn’t do on that survivor-like-island. 😛

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Photo by: Angiemael Asarez

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Photo by: Angiemael Asarez

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Photo by: Maynhard Crizaldo

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Photo by: Angiemael Asarez

We managed to have a talk with Angel, our contact person, whom we have rented a boat. And I was surprised to know some funny details regarding the situation of the locals in that place. And I was triggered to throw rotten eggs on the face of Henry Sy.

Angel told us that some of the islands that we have seen during our boat ride were already bought by business men. One of the islands (and it is a beautiful island) is owned by Henry Sy. That was quite okay but to hear that this greedy business man is actually trying to demolish the locals on their island, by offering them to sell their lot, is something inhumane. I mean, back off! You already owned a big business industry out in the city, for freakiiing sake, don’t touch these natural wonders! And don’t you dare snatch away the simple and peaceful life of these locals. Don’t take away their source of income and living. Back off! Just back off, please!

But I guess, if the government can’t or wont (is the perfect term) do anything to stop you, Henry Sy, from your wicked schemes, who would? And who would listen to the rants of the locals? Who would listen to these things I say? It breaks my heart to think that these locals were peacefully living a life in this place and then suddenly someone will try to snatch it away from them. That is so inhumane! But the rich people control the world — that’s a fact. And I don’t know how these locals would fight for their rights. Yet still, my hope is in the Lord. He is just. And justice will be served. Maybe not now, but sooner or later it will be.  Deuteronomy 32:4 says, He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He.”

Anyway, I know that you’re looking for budget breakdown, itinerary and so on, so here it goes:

Expenses:
Van – 500 (3,500/7)
Bangka – 215 (1500/7)
Total: P715 each

Itinerary:
4am – Tejero, Cavite (you can eat breakfast at home or buy something at 7/11, may rice meal naman dun)
5:20am – Kaybiang Tunnel (ili-lead tayo ni Angel papunta sa sakayan nila ng bangka)
5:40am – boarding the boat
6:00am to 7:10am – boat ride (ikot-ikot lang, ikot-ikot)
7:10am to 2:30pm – savour the island
2:30pm to 3:00pm – boat ride going to the next island
3:00pm to 4:00pm – swim-swim again dun sa 2nd island
4:00pm to 5:00pm – Banlaw time! Pack-up!
6:00pm to 6:15pm – boat ride back to the port
8pm – Tejero

Things to bring:
Extra clothes
Swimming clothes
Wear sandals/slippers
Toiletries
Water (for the whole day)
Packed Lunch
Snacks
Bread
Waterproof bag/pouch for your gadgets
Plastic bag for wet clothes
Sumblero/shades (for eye protection kung mainit)
Panlatag sa buhangin
Charcoal and Match (if your planning to cook your food at the island)

By the way, those yellow things (lilies) floating on the first island we stayed at were from Manila Bay and it was because of the Typhoon. I mentioned above that we scheduled our trip here just days after Typhoon Pablo. So, if you’re planning to spend a day on this haven island without those yellow things, schedule your trip during summer. 😀

Anyway, if you’d like to watch our adventure vlog in Carabao Island, click this link: Carabao Island (Maragondon, Cavite) When Summer’s Over

P.S. Clean as you go! I repeat, CLEAN AS YOU GO!

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Wet and Mildly Wild Adventure at Mt. Marami

They said that if you already conquered Pico De Loro (Mt. Palay-Palay), the next thing on your list should be Mt. Marami, which is also located at Maragondon, Cavite but has another jump-off located at Magallanes, Cavite.

We were actually planning to take the Magallanes jump-off, which can be found at Brgy. Ramirez, but since we were in a hurry to start the trek for us to finish early, we suddenly decided to use Brgy. Talipusngo the moment we saw its signage (which is in Maragondon).

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Unlike Pico De Loro, Batulao, etc., Mt. Marami isn’t that famous though it’s summit is quite lower than Pico De Loro (according to our tour guide). And after the climb, I realized the reason why. ;P

We left Rosario, Cavite at 5:00 in the morning and started the trek at 7:00am. We registered at the Brgy. Hall amounting P20 each.

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Having a tour guide is a must and required by the municipality. Usually, their tour guide can only accommodate 5-6 hikers but in our case we were allowed to have just one though we were 9. At first, I thought that we were lucky to pay for just one tour guide fee, which is P500. But then later on, I decided that we should give Kuya Lester P100 each for a fee. He deserved that amount. And just in case you were planning to climb this mountain, I highly recommend that you request Kuya Lester as your tour guide. You just need to mention his name.

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Kuya Lester

If you are planning to bring your own car, the parking is available at the Barangay Hall but I suggest that you park your car somewhere nearer the start of the trek, which was what we did and it was a good thing that we did. 😀 There’s no parking fee, I just don’t know if they have fee during summer.

I know that summer’s over and there was an on and off rain the last few days before the schedule of our hike but the nature calls 😛 and I miss this kind of adventure and I cannot postpone nor cancel the hike because that sense of adventure might subside. I or we might lose our interest so we (or I insisted them) made it happen. 😀 Besides, the weather was good the day before and during the morning of our hike.

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Yes, a lot of part of the trail was muddy. 😛

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But there’s still some solid ground. ;P

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There are 4 rivers which you need to cross on your way to the summit. I failed to do that research and didn’t include in our ‘things to bring’ a sandals or a slipper. 😛 Actually, I knew that there are rivers to cross but I didn’t expect that there’s a lot and that there’s a big possibility that our feet would sink. 😛

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photo by: Angiemel Asarez

We went on climbing and then rest.. climbing and rest.. climb and rest..

CLIMB!

 

REST!

 

CLIMB!

 

REST!

 

CLIMB!

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Photo by: Angiemel Asarez

REST!

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And to tell you honestly, it was a freaking looooooong walk before you finally see some good scenery around you.

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And then. you’ll realize that you’ve been climbing for almost 6 hours and you were just nearing the summit. But at least, you’re already near. 😛

Here are the views just a few steps toward the summit:

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And when I am about to reach the summit, it rained.

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That’s me, holding an umbrella. ;P (it was for the protection of my DSLR actually)

So, here are what I’ve got and have seen above:

 

But here are the photos grabbed from my adventure buddies, since they arrived first at the summit and got the chance to see how beautiful the scenery is:

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We also took the chance to have photos at the famous silyang bato. But we were in different angles. 😛

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After eating our packed lunches, taking photos and resting for almost an hour at the summit, we have decided to go down because the rain might become heavy and also we need to reach the bottom of the mountain before the sun goes down. It was already 2:00pm when we started the trail going down the mountain.

We did a traverse by the way that’s why we experienced crossing a mini ‘bangin’. This was the dangerous part of the climb for me.

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And then, we went down a steep rocky part after that bangin’.

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photo by: Angiemel Asarez

Then the rest on the way down was easy, if and only if you were wearing the right shoes. 🙂 Of course, the trail on the way down was muddy, so the risk of sliding was high. But it could be lessen if, like what I’ve said, you wear the right shoes for mountain climbing.

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We were moving down the mountain faster than how we climbed it. And it was way easier to get down. But, I don’t know if it was due to exhaustion, it was like we were walking forever and not reaching the end or the bottom of this Mt. Marami! In my mind I was thinking, “Why are we still so high? Where’s the end of the mountain? I swear I’m never going back to this mountain!” But of course, I have no choice but walk my way to the bottom.

Kuya Lester, our tour guide, mentioned that they can actually use habal-habal on the lower parts of the mountain when the hikers request and rent for it. But it is only available during summer.

 

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Photo by: Angiemel Asarez

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Photo by: Angiemel Asarez

 

 

Then at exactly 6:30pm, we or I rather (because I was the last person that reached the bottom), finally ended the never ending walk. 😛

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And then I realized why Mt. Marami was not a blockbuster compared with other mountains near the place. Because it’s Mt. Marami, short for Maraming lakariiiin. An extra challenge, indeedThis was also the first time that I accepted the help of the tour guide with my backpack. 😛

Anyway, just in case you were planning a day-hike at Mt. Marami here are additional tips for your trip:

Itinerary:
5:00am – meet-up at Tejero, Cavite
6:30am – registration / pee time / getting ready / bag check / etc.
7:00am – start of the trek
1:15pm – summit
1:15pm to 2:00pm – lunch / rest at the summit
2:00pm – descending  time
6:30pm – bottom
8:00pm – Tejero

Expenses:
P272 – gas share (sorry I cannot tell you the details on how to get there via public transpositions, because I don’t know how :p)
P20 – Registration fee
P100 – Tour guide fee

Things to bring:
Water (lots of water)
Extra Clothes
Slippers or Sandals
Packed Lunch
Energy bar (chocolates, etc.)
Snacks

There you go, I am not planning to come back here but you should include it on your list. Still, it’s a must try. 😀 If you want to know more about our climb, click this link and watch our adventure: https://vimeo.com/228959030

P.S Please do pray to God for protection and strength. 😀

Up and Down to the top of Mt. Batulao

Hooray, I just conquered the 6th mountain on my bucket list since I started hiking.

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Mt. Batulao (photo by: shella salud)

The mountain is called Mt. Batulao; known for its up and down hills on the way to the top with less trees along the trail . The mountain is located at Nasugbu, Batangas, Philippines, and is 2 hours away from our place in Cavite.

Since there are seldom trees along the trail, I highly recommend that you cover yourself from the sun to prevent sunburn. This is what we got for not securing our skin from the sun:

We started the hike at 7:30am and got down from it at 5:30pm. We climbed the mountain almost the whole day because we were fond of taking breaks whenever we feel exhausted.

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The hike was kind of difficult because there are lots of hills to be climbed up and down plus the fact that there are trails that are too steep for us to climb and to get down.

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Before reaching the jump-off, you will need to walk about 2kms to get there. You have the choice to walk or ride a tricycle; in our case, we decided to just walk our way to the jump-off.

Upon reaching the start of the trail, there are vendors of bamboo stick that will eventually help you climb the mountain. The stick only cost P10.

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As we climb the mountain, the scenic views started to amaze us.

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And as we go higher, the trail started to get more difficult.

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But even though you get exhausted along the way, there are stores and vendors that offer refreshments like coconut.

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There are also plenty of dogs in the mountain.

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And after 5 hours of going up and down the hills and paying 5 registration fees due to land ownership, we have reached the summit.

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There are another registration fees upon going down the summit. All in all you’ll spend P130 for the 6 registration fees. That’s quite a big amount compare to other mountains. Usually, there is only one registration fee amounting to P20-P50 for climbing mountains here in the Philippines. But it can also be expensive if they require tour guides. It’s a good thing that this mountain didn’t require us to have one.

We decided to go down the summit using the new trail. I forgot to mention that you have a choice which trail you will be using: the old or the new trail. In our case, we chose to climb the summit via old trail and get down on it via new trail.

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And though we were already descending the mountain, we can’t deny the fact that still the scenery is still breathtaking.

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Although we were exhausted and quite pissed about the numerous registration fees, no amount of money can pay the beauty we have witnessed upon climbing this mountain. And here I am, encouraging the readers to get out there and enjoy the beauty of the world God has created. You will be mesmerized by how creative our God is.

For those who want to see the list of our expenses, here it is:
P150 – van transpo fare from Tejero, Cavite to Mt. Batulao
P130 – registration fees
P150 – van from Mt. Batulao to Tejero, Cavite

Time of arrival: 7:30am
Time of departure: 5:30pm

To see the footage of our journey, click this link: Mt. Batulao Adventure.

Masungi Georeserve Adventure

Two months ago, we decided to take a reservation here in Masungi Georeserve. We chose a date that will give us enough preparation financially also physically, aside from the fact that most of the nearest dates were already fully booked.

Masungi Georeserve Management requires the visitors to book  the date of their visit in advance. They don’t allow walk-ins. All you have to do is go to their website: Masungi Georeserve to book a reservation. Also, you must be a group of at least 7 people but not more than 14. And since there’s no public transportation that passes by the area, you might need to bring a private vehicle. Further details can be found at their website: Masungi Georeserve.

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Photo by: Shella Salud

The place is located at Baras, Rizal, Philippines. It was named Masungi because it was derived from the word Masungki (crooked teeth), which describes the rock formation around the mountain.

The place is famous for the bridge and ladder which were made out of ropes,

and let us not forget the giant rope hammock hanging between two hills.

Another famous attraction of the place is the so-called Sapot, a giant spider web hanging between large rock hills, which of course made out of ropes.

And before you head on to the finish line and grab some snack,

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You must overcome the final challenge — Bayawak, in English giant lizard..

Aside from these challenges, there are some spots too that are worth savoring and seeing . Here are those:

To sum it up, the 4 to 5 hour hike isn’t that hard, you just have to follow the trail and the instruction of the park ranger.

Also, once in a while, the park ranger gives insight and trivia about each spot or attraction that you will encounter.

Although the hike is quite easy, it’s no doubt that it’s exciting and full of adventure and rewarding, especially the part when you reach the end of every challenge and when you reach the peak.

I highly recommend Masungi Georeserve  to first-time hikers and beginners. Although, this might cost an amount of money, I assure you that it’s worth the time and cost. As of this year, their rate per head is P1,500 during weekdays and 1,800 during weekends. That includes snack at the end of the trail.

If you wish to see more of our adventure, you may click this link and watch our video footage: Facebook: Masungi Georeserve Adventure, Vimeo: Masungi Georeserve Adventure.

So what areyou waiting for? Book a visit now! 😀

Majestic Artwork

To travel is to witness how amazing and creative the God we have. And sometimes, you don’t need to travel far to witness the greatness of His creation.

Sometimes all you need to do is to open the window of your room to witness such beauty.

God’s canvass is the world. His masterpiece is just around the corner. You just need to have an appreciative heart. You just need to look around.

And look what I have found by just sitting around and waiting:

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photo by: shella salud

God painted the sky for me and even for you. What a majestic work of art indeed. The look of the sky gives us something to feel. To feel life. It stirs something within our hearts. I don’t know what it gives you but I know what it gave me.

And the good thing is.. God never stop showing His majestic artwork. It is new every morning; they surround us. Look for one every day.

Climb for Caio at Mt. Maynuba

Almost a month ago, I and my travel buddies joined a climb for a cause, it was entitled climb for Caio. 13584762_1051845154900842_6784064101318652925_o Caio is a dog who died at the mountain and thus the owner buried it at the mountain top.

The event was organized by Saint Roche Premium Organic Dog Shampoo.

I failed to capture every moment due to exhaustion (I need to catch the group up and keep climbing), IMG_053313641030_1051846814900676_5812513284486564784_o13581986_1051847788233912_7566774269653651925_o13568904_1051846151567409_5485026404996972826_o13640947_1051846704900687_1552931111181413057_othat’s why some of the pictures here were grabbed from the Facebook page of Saint Roche.

I realized one thing from the climb: that if you want to enjoy every moment of your climb you should never ever join a group climb, your focus will be on the catching up not on the beauty of the climb.

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Mt. Maynuba is located at Tanay, Rizal, Philippines, we climbed it for 3 hours, and I guess it is recommended for the first timers.

Here are the pictures of the view while we climb:

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And finally we reached the top..

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Ilocos Tour

My sister and I decided to join a tour in Ilocos, collectively refers to two provinces in the PhilippinesIlocos Norte and Ilocos Sur. The tour was great and we had so much fun and learned amazing things about the province. We enjoyed its ocean and explored other amazing places, like Bantay Abot, Bangui Windmills, Kapurpurawan Rock Formation, Kabigan Falls, Calle Crisologo in Vigan, Blue Lagoon, Saud beach and many more (see pictures below).

The 3-day tour was so worth it, you will experience that God is really an awesome creator. The photos below are only half of the awesomeness you may feel when you travel Ilocos but I hope these photos are enough to convince you that Ilocos is a worthy place to travel and explore. It was a good thing that we joined the tour.

Here are the pictures of the amazing places of the province:

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Calle Crisologo

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Calle Crisologo

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Kapurpurawan Rock Formation

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Kapurpurawan Rock Formation

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Bangui Windmills

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Bangui Windmills

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On the way to Kabigan Falls

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Kabigan Falls

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Kabigan Falls

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Patapat Viaduct

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Patapat Viaduct

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Patapat Viaduct

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Patapat Viaduct

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Bantay-Abot

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Bantay-Abot

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Blue Lagoon

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Blue Lagoon

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Blue Lagoon

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Blue Lagoon

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Saud Beach

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Saud Beach

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Saud Beach

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Sweet Escape

Batangas, Philippines is a nice place for scuba and snorkeling; a sweet escape indeed. It’s just a bit sad that I don’t own a waterproof camera; I failed to capture what’s underneath the ocean.

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Aside from that, there are other things which you can enjoy while you stay at the place.

Here is a warm Gotong Batangas that you should try to eat.

Also, don’t miss the special hot choco of the place. Made from pure cocoa/tablea boiled for less than 10 minutes.. and dyaraaaaan.. a mouthwatering hot choco.. 😛

Don’t forget to enjoy the nature while you stay at the place.

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So what are you waiting for, visit Batangas and celebrate a special moment with the nature and don’t miss the special delicacies of the place…

Here’s a vlog on our sweet escape here in Anilao, Batangas: https://vimeo.com/177689832

Solitude

solitude

solitude

Solitude.

Sometimes, this doesn’t mean being alone in your private world; you can experience solitude even when you’re surrounded by people who are real to you.. You can experience solitude by just looking at the sea. Just like how I experienced mine when I captured this kind of solitude.

And please keep in mind that solitude is best spent with people you love the most. 😀

solitude

solitude

Pico De Loro, Second Time Around

Last February, I blogged about my adventure at Pico De Loro and was left asking for more. I fell in love with the adventure and with the beautiful scenery above. And so I promised myself that I will return on that place: mainly, because I want to experience it again, secondly, to finish the whole challenge, which I failed to accomplish during my first climb. And so I told myself, ‘this time, I’m going to conquer the top of the monolith.’

As stated in my previous blog about Pico De Loro, I failed to climb the monolith due to physical exhaustion. I had ran-out of enough strength for it.

So, this time, I planned a different itinerary to be able to complete the whole climb. Together with my two travel buddies, we headed on to Ternate around 2:30pm. They agreed to take an overnight adventure in that place. (Thank God, I got their favored after an hour of persuasion the night before the event.)

In less than an hour, we reached the terminal and rode a tricycle to DENR. (You can check this footage but this was taken during my first climb here). The transportation fees were just the same as before, and also the entrance fee. And yes, I was very much confident that everything were just the same as what we had encountered last time. And I was right, except for one. Geeee, they’re not accepting overnight campers anymore. According to them, this Memo was issued last March 28, due to uncleanliness of the campers who were leaving garbage at the top. So I thought: 1. What now? Are we going back home empty handed of the adventure we were seeking? 2. I should get ready for the blame of these two friends, after all, I was the one who persuade them to do an overnight here. And maybe the registrar guy noticed these thoughts on my face, so before I even ask him what to do, he told us that we can build our tent some place down there and start the climb tomorrow instead. At first, I was kinda disappointed and was tempted to refuse his offer. It wasn’t what we planned for. I was also looking forward to film the sunrise at the top of the mountain, and how will I do that now if we’ll start our trek tomorrow? And then the registrar guy said we can start the climb at 4am, he said just the right words to make us stay and get ready for tomorrow’s adventure.

So we find a place to set our tent to start the night early. We need so much strength for the adventure tomorrow and we can’t allow ourselves to sleep late.

set the tent

set the tent

set the tent

set the tent

But just like anyone else, we can’t force ourselves to sleep early when we’re not feeling sleepy in the first place. So we headed on to the highway outside the campsite, hoping to enjoy whatever views and amazing things await us there.

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outside the campsite

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outside the campsite

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outside the campsite

And these things didn’t let us down.

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She owns the world

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ROCK ON!!

Of course, like what I always say, mind the small details. Enjoy and savor the moment but don’t miss out the little things.

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little tree

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perspective

And finally, after somehow exhausting ourselves, and after we ate our dinner, we set a bonfire.

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This was a first time for me. I haven’t been literally camping out on a cold dark night. And thank God He gave me this perfect time to experience.

We laid our backs at exactly 7:30PM but slept maybe 2 hours after, you’ll know why if you’ll try.

We set an alarm at 2:30AM for us to have enough time to eat breakfast, to warm-up, and get ourselves ready to climb.

inside the tent

inside the tent

And though I can feel the cold ground underneath my back and how hard they were, thanks to God He gave me enough sleep just perfect for the adventure in a while.

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time to set down the tent

We started our trek at maybe around 4:00am. It was a good thing there were campers like us who were also going up at a time like that. The more, the more lights of course. 😀

And because it was dark, we failed to capture our way up. And now I must say that I didn’t catch the sunrise. We were moving kinda slow. But that’s just fine, I can still do it some other time. 😛

Besides, the scenery, as we were nearing the top at an early time, was I think amazing than any other time.

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near the first peak

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near the first peak

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near the first peak

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near the first peak

And then at last, after more than 2 hours, we reached the first peak.

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first peak

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first peak

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first peak

first peak

first peak

What awesome creations we have here. The perspiration really paid off. But we know that there’s more. We still have two challenges we need to accomplish: the second peak and the monolith. So again we set the tent up and rested for 30 mins. and then we headed on to the second peak and left our tent standing since we have agreed not to traverse.

In less than 25mins. we reached the second peak. And geez, the way up seemed steeper than before. I don’t know if it was just me or it really became steeper but I was sure my first climb here was easier than this time. But no matter how hard the climb was, it was fun and fulfilling when you reach the top.

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view from the 2nd peak

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view from the 2nd peak

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view from the 2nd peak

And after savoring the moment on this top, we braced ourselves for the last challenge: the monolith.

the monolith

the monolith

view from the second peak

view from the second peak: Monolith

view from the second peak

view from the second peak: Monolith

We had to climb down to the other side of the peak to get to this monolith. The way down was steeper but rocky, that was why I considered it easier than climbing the second peak. You have unlimited access to wherever you want to place your grip.

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way down to reach the monolith

In less than 20min. we were at the bottom of the monolith..

bottom of the monolith

bottom of the monolith

bottom of the monolith

bottom of the monolith

We were actually having a hard time deciding if we were going to climb this cliff. It actually looks dangerous when you’re already standing next to it.

But then I realized, didn’t we prayed for it and entrusted God everything in this adventure? Why not do a leap of faith. Didn’t you want to witness more of His creations? Besides, this was one of the reasons why you climbed Pico De Loro for the second time — to conquer the monolith, right?.

And then I went on and climbed this cliff, which at first was difficult but as you climb higher, things were getting easier. Thanks to God for the strength and motivation He placed in my heart. I kept on calling His Name on my way up.

Later, my two friends followed and climbed up too. Maybe they thought that if I can, then surely they can do this too.

The climb to this monolith won’t take you more than 15mins.,  just remember how you climbed up because that’s also how you’re going to climb down.

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top of the monolith

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top of the monolith

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top of the monolith

We spent a little more time at the top. We actually owned the monolith for 20mins.. Nobody’s trying to climb this cliff at that time, which was of course favorable to us.

And when we had finished savoring the moment, we headed back to where our tent was. But of course the way back there was as hard as going to the second peak and the monolith.

In less than 30mins. we were back at the first peak and rested there for almost an hour before we start our journey way down.

In less than 2 hours, we were already at the bottom of the mountain and getting ready for a ride back home.

We left the place at around 11:45am with a fulfilled and amazed heart. And I know, I’m going to ask for more adventure like this. I know.

You can check out this link to literally visualized how awesome the scenery at this place are: Pico De Loro, 2nd Time Around

You might want to budget your time and finances before backpacking so here’s our itinerary and expenses list to somehow help you:

Itinerary:
Meet up at Tejero, Cavite – 2:30 pm
Tejero to Ternate – 2:30pm to 3:30pm
Ternate to DENR – 3:30pm to 3:45pm
Set the tent – 3:45pm to 4:00pm
Free time – 4:00pm to 4:45pm
Exploring whatever it is available to explore – 4:45pm to 5:30pm
Free time and set the bonfire – 5:30pm to 6:30pm
Dinner – 6:30pm to 7:00pm
Free time – 7:00pm to 8:00pm
Sleep time – 8:00pm to 2:30am
Breakfast – 2:30am to 3:00am
Set down the tent – 3:00am to 3:15am
Getting ready – 3:15am to 4:00am
Start the hike – 4:00am
Touchdown first peak – 6:45am
Rest – 6:45am to 7:30am
Second peak – 8:00am
Monolith – 9:30am
Back at the first peak – 10:05am
Rest – 10:05am to 10:30am
Back at the bottom – 12:00nn

Total Expenses:
Bus from Tejero to Ternate – P41
Tricycle to DENR – P75 each
Entrance fee – P25
Dinner – P65 to P100
Tricycle back to terminal – P75each
Bus from Ternate to Tejero – P41

Thanks for reading and have a great adventure ahead. God bless! 😀